Channel Chiefs Predict New Style Of IT Means Big Changes For Partners

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It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what the "new style" of IT includes. Depending on whom you ask, it can include cloud computing, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine or BYOD. At a recent roundtable, channel chiefs made predictions about what the "new style" means for partners.

"We all talked about solutions, and really it's about outcomes -- business outcomes," said Cisco Senior Vice President Bruce Klein. "Our partners, the big transition is they're going to find the way to sell technology outcomes to IT; they're going to sell business outcomes to line-of-business, and they're going to be able to sell transformational outcomes to CFOs."

HP Vice President Stephen DiFranco said that the new style of IT will "drive partners to think of themselves as practices."

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"It's going to be a practice-driven marketplace in the future for the VARs," DiFranco said.

Other channel chiefs predicted that changes in the industry will boost their partner programs.

"We'll probably triple our partner base this year," said Will Knight, senior vice president at Rackspace. "But I think the big thing will be, half of them will be nontraditional partners."

"I see us doubling the amount of partners who we have signed up on SoftLayer," said Tami Duncan, vice president of IBM. "So, we've got about a thousand today. I think we'll see that at least double."

Dell Vice President Frank Vitagliano said he believes the "new style" of IT might not be such a big deal. "I'm not sure we're not already there, and a lot of this is -- dare I use the word -- hype."